Decently sized colleges for the verbal/artistic Computer Science student?

<p>I already have a college list, but I thought I'd ask: where do YOU think I should be applying? This is really a situation where SuperMatch and its ilk just won't cut it. Hopefully, I'll be able to use the results of this discussion to better refine my aspirations and, er, curb my whimsical expectations, if such is to be. Anywhere, here goes.</p>

<p>Intended career: Video game designer/developer
Intended major: Computer Science (not necessarily a BS program)
Other areas of academic interest: Foreign languages (esp. Japanese, but also including anything obscure and/or difficult [I've been teaching myself Czech for the past few months]); physics; math; art (I actually may need some art for career reasons - I don't want to be looked at as another boring CS drone when I'm applying for jobs)</p>

<p>Size: >5,000 or so undergraduates - this eliminates a lot of liberal arts colleges, I'm aware
Location: Anywhere in the US except the Midwest; preferably in or around a large or at least medium-sized city
Food: Must have vegetarian/vegan options
Religious atmosphere: I'd rather it not have an overt religious affiliation
Greek life: I'd rather the Greek scene not be what dominates campus life, if it must exist at all
Rankings: If you can look it up on Wikipedia and see a table of rankings from a few different sources somewhere in its article, it's probably competitive enough for me</p>

<p>Alright, here's where you'll be able to tell roughly how high I should be aiming. It's my qualifications list, and it's the practical part of this post.</p>

<p>GPA: 3.73 UW; ~4.4 W - I'm working harder than ever before to get straight As this term, which will bring me up to around a 3.8 and a 4.5
Class rank: Barely outside the top 10% - probably the weakest part of my application, but if I get straight As it may easily enter that range
ACT: 34 (35 E; 36 M; 32 R; 31 S; 10 W)
SAT: 2230 (710 M; 740 CR; 780 W) - will retake this if time allows
SAT Subj. Tests: none yet, but I will have taken Math II and Japanese by the time I apply, and I may add Literature and/or Physics
APs: English Lang (4); Psychology (5)
Awards: National Merit Semifinalist; National Japanese Honor Society; some inter-community academic award for Japanese EC work
Course rigor: Basically the highest possible; all honors and AP classes except for mandates like Health and a few art classes
High school profile: Ranked as one of the top few hundred high schools in the country (out of ~26,000); sends at least a dozen or two students each year to Ivies, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, etc. plus a lot more to other competitive state and private schools
ECs: President of one club; co-president of another; decently committed member in a few more; am a semi-professional video game developer (will have a website of my own games before too long); have had a couple of jobs; MAY have a paid web-design internship this fall (but am not banking on it)
Essays: I've been told I write very well, and I'm currently drafting essays on fairly unique topics in a unique style (not too much that way, though).
Recommendations: Very good (seriously, I'll be getting them from people who know me well and will write great things)</p>

<p>So, whattaya think? Where do you think I should be looking to apply?</p>

<p>Berkeley and Stanford seem to meet your criteria well, since they both have strong CS major degree programs that do not have heavy non-CS requirements (at Berkeley, this means L&S CS, not EECS), as well as good math, physics, and art.</p>

<p>However, Stanford is probably a very high reach with your GPA and rank. Berkeley is probably more like a high match to low reach for admissions, but will be expensive if you are not a California resident.</p>

<p>You may find that schools with CS degree programs not in engineering divisions may have fewer non-CS requirements, allowing you to take more free electives in other areas (though if you are interested in math and physics anyway, the additional math and physics courses found in an engineering-based CS degree program may not be much of a burden to you). You can go to each school's web site to see how heavy the major requirements for the CS major is, and figure out how much free elective space you will have.</p>

<p>I take it you've rejected programs for Interactive Media and Game Design? The major at WPI, for example, has two concentrations either artistic or technical. This quote is from their website:
"While each student chooses whether to focus on either the artistic or technical side of the field, all are expected to gain a broad understanding of both areas, developing a base of knowledge in computer science, mathematics, science, art, music, and English. "
Not that I'm suggesting WPI, it doesn't have lots of foreign languages etc. But perhaps a larger school such as RIT which has the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences as well as College of Computing and Information Sciences, and plenty of other options including foreign languages might be a good fit. I had thought it was just an engineering and science school, but I was amazed at the breadth of their offerings in art when we visited a few years ago.</p>

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<p>I agree. At one school that has a BS program in CS, I'm actually planning to apply to the BA program instead, and not just because it's probably easier to get into (in fact, it might not be).</p>

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<p>As I understand it, the math and science classes that CS majors typically have to take are very tailored to CS work. That's all well and good, but my real interests lie in actual (or theoretical) physics as opposed to "physics for engineering students" (I'm taking AP Physics now) and the more theoretical, less punch-and-chug math classes. I'm trying to learn Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus now just for the heck of it.</p>

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<p>Generally, I shy away from tech schools, but that one seems like one of the more interesting ones. Thanks!</p>

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<p>Typically, upper division physics courses for physics majors list the lower division physics sequence that physics and engineering majors take as a prerequisite.</p>

<p>Linear algebra is typically a requirement for CS majors, though multivariable calculus may not be (although it is a prerequisite for upper division physics courses and often the lower division electricity and magnetism course). You may want to take differential equations as well, since some colleges combine that with linear algebra in one course -- if you take just linear algebra, you may have to repeat it in a school which combines it with differential equations.</p>

<p>Check out Virginia Tech. Large school, not dominated by frats, lots of vegetarian/vegan options, comp. sci program. The</a> Undergraduate Program | Computer Science at Virginia Tech</p>